Phacoemusification Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery has undergone substantial improvements over the last twenty years and is now routinely performed using ultrasound energy = phacoemulsification. This small incision "key-hole" technique involves "breaking up" and removing the cloudy lens using controlled ultrasound energy and placing a new clear intraocular lens implant inside the eye.
In experienced hands the procedure has an extremely good success rate with a high level of patient satisfaction. Despite having a number of challenging cases my surgical complication rate, over the last 10yrs, is 0.11% (ie: 1 complication in every 1000 cases) compared to the reported national average in the UK of 1.5% (3 complicated operations in every 200 patients undergoing cataract surgery).
Cataract surgery is most commonly performed as a day-case under local anaesthetic, either topically with anaesthetic drops or using a sub-tenons "block", whereby a blunt-ended cannula is used to introduce anaesthetic into the eye socket. Some patients prefer to be sedated ("twilight anaesthesia") and for a number of reasons a few people have the procedure under a short general anaesthetic. The different anaesthetic techniques are fully discussed in order to choose the optimum method for any individual undergoing cataract surgery.
A combination antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drop (four times a day) is most often prescribed following the surgery. Typically the post-operative recovery is painless and relatively quick, with the final result often achieved within 2 weeks of the operation.